Unfortunately, cats, like other mammals, can develop diseases of the lungs from time to time. Infectious pneumonia is not unheard of in cats. They can also develop lung cancer or benign tumors of the lungs. If your cat shows signs of lung disease, you'll want to take them to the vet, who can run some tests to see exactly what's amiss. So, what are the signs your cat may need vet care for lung disease?
If your cat coughs once a month or every so often, that's probably normal. You can ask your vet about it during their next checkup, but there's generally no need for a prompt appointment. On the other hand, if your cat is coughing often or with increased frequency, you have reason to be concerned about their lungs. In the case of pneumonia, the cough may bring up mucous. If cancer or a tumor is developing, your cat's coughs may sound dry and harsh.
Rapid, Shallow Breathing
Cats really only pant when they are nervous and when they cannot get adequate air into their lungs. So, if your cat has no reason to be nervous and is nevertheless painting or breathing really rapidly, this is likely a sign of lung disease. Some cats may do this constantly until you seek care. Others may have "bouts" of panting every few days.
Blood in the Mouth
If you see blood in your cat's mouth, it could be due to a dental injury. It could also be blood that your cat has coughed up because of lung disease. Either problem requires vet care, so your response should be the same. A vet will generally take a look inside the cat's mouth, and if there are no bleeding tissues in the mouth, they'll evaluate the lungs and throat.
Lethargy and Tiredness
If your cat is struggling to breathe enough air into their lungs, then they may be tired and lethargic a lot. Their muscles are not getting the oxygen necessary to support movement. Your cat may refuse to go up the stairs. They may only walk halfway across the room before pausing. You may also notice them breathing heavily at these times.
Lung diseases in cats are serious matters and always require vet care. The good news is that there are treatments available, especially when you catch the problem early. Contact a veterinary animal hospital near you for more information.